Our Senior Oral Health Survey Report, revealed that 72% of Americans aged 50 and older wish they had taken better care of their teeth in youth, yet many still aren’t doing so. With oral health linked to heart, brain and mental health, dentists encourage following the “rule of 2-1-2”
As our seniors are facing an oral health crisis due to unique challenges and barriers to access that have significant overall health implications, this report offers valuable insights to help support Delta Dental's commitment to providing older adults with consistent, quality access to oral health care, improving education and driving lasting policy changes to address systemic issues.
May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, during which we conducted a comprehensive survey among seniors to explore the unexpected correlation between oral health and mental well-being.
The findings are part of Delta Dental’s 2023 Senior Mental and Oral Health Report, which asked more than 1,000 older Americans about their oral health habits and stratified their self-reported indications of mental wellbeing.
Mental health issues cause many seniors to neglect their oral health, and poor oral health in turn causes many older Americans to experience mental health issues, creating a harmful feedback loop of mouth pain, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem among Americans aged 50 and up.
This program addresses the senior oral health care crisis through partnerships with community-based coalitions focused on improving access to care. Its multifaceted approach aspires to improve the health of our aging adults, particularly those in marginalized communities.
Learn more about our motivations, approach, and the achievements and learnings from the first year of implementation in the Senior Oral Health Coalition Program Annual Report.
In collaboration with our coalition partners in Washington, D.C., Howard University College of Dentistry and Mary’s Center, and in California, Dientes Community Dental Care and Salud Para La Gente, this program promotes the connection between oral health and overall health, provides quality outcomes, improves accessibility and creates greater equity in the care and treatment older adults receive. Insights collected throughout the program will be utilized to identify effective solutions and inform the Delta Dental Senior Oral Health Care Model, which will be replicated as the program develops. The program will expand to form coalitions with other community partners.
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is currently accepting proposals from California-based applicants to form our third community-based Senior Oral Health Coalition. The selected coalition will be granted up to $5 million in total over a five-year period to promote systemic change in access to care for senior oral health. We invite you to review this request for proposals and submit a coalition application by the deadline of November 10, 2023.
Identify, assess and address the socioeconomic and systemic causes of poor oral health among older adults, particularly those living in poverty
Create a replicable model for community-driven oral health solutions
Improve quality of life for seniors by reducing oral care disparities
Get the latest insights on how Delta Dental is addressing senior oral health care.
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